Great improvisers always have one foot dangling over the cliff's edge. Their work seems ready to crumble under itself; to tangle, snag or melt like a cassette tape. Will Guthrie is no exception to this rule. The Australian percussionist works in many spaces, and with a wide roster of collaborators. But the work is invariably electrifying and dangerous.
Some Nasty sees Guthrie performing alongside Indonesian gamelan and gong players, and delving into a new world of electronic backing tracks and esoteric field recording. As ever, the atmosphere is heavy. Dark clouds are punctuated by clattering raindrops of noise. But some surprises, like a spirited homage to My Chemical Romance's 'Black Parade', liven proceedings. And the extreme energy of Some Nasty's noisier passages will bring out anyone's stank face.
One movement on Side B slips into an irresistible groove. It's a conventional sort of playing rarely heard from Guthrie, but all the more successful for it. Bordered on both sides by erratic and challenging traditional percussion, it's a stark and welcome contrast.
This release as a whole benefits from its diversity. Phrases and moods appear like cats eyes, rushing in in a bright and surprising surge. It's as difficult to pin down as one of Guthrie's cacophonous crescendos. Perhaps he's the only one who can truly keep track of it all.
Words by Andrew O’Keefe